Raging Water, Superman, & Shrinkage

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A Morning Run With Scott Graham

By Scott Graham

This mornings run started a little early, 5:30 as Pete needed to be in the office for a 7 AM conference call. So we met up at EBC and he called out Keyes Pond Loop. UGH. If you haven’t done this loop you get to run UP Gould road, one of the toughest hills in Westford.

Pete started out a little fast but I managed to hold on until Nutting Road, where we crossed Rt 40 and started around Keyes Pond. Pete started to pull away and I just let him go. When we reached the part of the road that floods out I noticed that there was some water starting to overflow the banks onto the road. I thought of the time we came up to this point in the run where the road was completely submerged. I hit the gas that day and danced over the 100+ feet of water. All my running buddies that day turned around and ran back the long way. So when I reached the steep part of Gould I shifted into cement mixer mode and slowly made my way up the hill. Pete was at the top waiting for me.

We started back up and soon enough he was dropping me once again. I decided to pull the rip cord and cut through the ball fields off River St then shoot out the back side to EBC. As I cut through the ball field my heart was heavy. Last night I attended a wake for a 24 year old kid that I coached many times on these fields.

As I ran past the parking area I noticed one car. I thought to myself ‘I better be careful of hunters out in the woods’. I started down the trails and all of a sudden I could see an animal coming at me fast, and right behind it was another four-legged creature. My first thought was: COYOTES! Then as they got closer I could see a person right behind them. She was nice and asked me (with a Russian accent) if I run on these trails often. After that brief exchange, we were both on our way.

About one mile in there is a small stream crossing and usually there is some wood or logs that make the crossing easy. NOT TODAY. This small stream, typically about 6 feet across, was presently 15+ feet across and all the wood had floated way. I flashed my headlamp down into the murky water and thought to my Gould episode years ago. I CAN CROSS THIS!!!

So I ran back up the trail about 30 yards to get a good running start. Down the trail I flew. ‘High Knees!’ I thought to myself. I hit the water with my left foot first then my right then my left then all of a sudden the water got real deep. My right foot did not clear the water as I pulled it out and went to extend it for my next stride. I was now flying threw the air, both arms extended looking like Superman. I was diving for the shore. Alas, I did not have enough hang time. Down I went into the frigid water. Every part of me submerged except for my head. %#%#$ It’s cold!

I popped back up and quickly got out of the stream. I knew I was going to get cold really quick so I began running right away. Everything was soaked and my hands, even in my gloves, were starting to freeze up right away. My feet made a squishing sound with every step. And talk about SHRINKAGE!! I had about a 3/4 of a mile to go and pushed it hard, popping out of the woods at EBC to see Pete walking down the road to great me.

I wasn’t going to hang around (I was freezing) so I headed right home. Upon arrival I was greeted by my wife who basically said. “You need to stop running, you’re such a dumb !#$!”. I think she’s right about the 2nd part but I’ll never stop running because “I’m such a dumb !#$!%”.

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